For most of my life, I barely touched a book. I never had any interest in reading. I was far too busy doing more ‘important’ things like playing video games. But that all changed around five years ago.
I found my first mentor and he gave me a few books to read and the one lead to another, and another, and so on. It was mostly self-development/psychology and business books. Soon, reading became an obsession.
Roughly three years ago, I stumbled upon a Reddit thread where they were discussing books. They said most people, who read, only read 300 books in their lifetime. That’s around five books a year. For me, that’s not nearly enough because I’m far too curious. So I started reading ‘300 books a year’. Now I should clarify that I never achieve this goal, but it’s a goal none the less.
The point is to read as much as possible.
“But most importantly, gain knowledge.” – This was my idea of books when I started, but after a few years, as someone who enjoys being creative, I realized I need to read a little bit of fiction to stimulate my imagination.
Are there any avid readers out there? What are your thoughts between fiction and non-fiction?
Do you have any book suggestions you would like to share that you feel is a must read?
A little late tot his, but here is my two cents.
With a personal library of around 2000 books and a rapidly increasing library of books on Kindle I think I qualify as an avid reader. For myself, I don’t think it is a matter of either fiction or non-fiction, at least not for me. It is both. The reason is the motivation for reading.
For myself I read for several reasons. For pure pleasure and escapism. To learn, to be moved. To lose myself in someone else’s story whether fictional or real, to wander in other times and places, again, whether fictional or real.
If I am curious about something then I read non-fiction about it. For example, early American history from Colonial times up through the Civil War is one area I am interested in, and the Constitution. I have read several histories of those times and biographies of the people who impacted the events of those times. I have also read novels and stories written by people in those times as they also provide insight not gleaned from straight non-fiction. For example, the novel “The Bondswoman’s Narrative” by a slave named Hannah Crafts written sometime between 1853 and 1861, provides an emotional element and subtle insights that are usually (but not always) missing in nonfiction , that add to the information gleaned from nonfiction.
One last comment on this subject. As I said I read for many different reasons. One of which is pure escapism. Which is why I often read what is pure junk – books that are not considered good literature; cardboard characters, formulaic plots, and poor writing. While I am selective in such readings – something about it has to grab me, usually a character but it can be a plot device – these are works that until I got older I was embarrassed about since some of my favorite authors and books also include Camus, Dickens, Tolkien, Octavia Butler, “The Book Thief”, the Iliad and Odyssey, Dante’s Divine Trilogy, Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver and others.
But, these junk books give me pleasure in the moment and although they leave little lasting effect or often even memories, they give me moments. And life is made of moments and I believe that if something can give you a good moment that is enough in and of itself. The rest is bonus and good, and to be sought for. But a good moment is enough not to look down upon books or stories that only give us those moments.
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Yes I do! If you want to laugh and yeat read or lI enjoy the audiobook because the reader is wonderful with the characters. My grandmother wanted me to tell you she is sorry, and Britt Marie Was here, by Fredrick Backman. I have listened to these several times and well I would like to be like the grandmother! LOL I love his unique way of unfolding the stories. There are other books.
I wonder if I’ve read 300 books in my life. I think I must have; for one thing, I was an English major in college, so all I did was read books. It’s easier to think about if I consider that 300 would be 5 per year. I’m pretty sure I read more like 8-10 per year. It’s almost all fiction, except for books that touch on my profession. Non-fiction is kind of a slow-to-a-stop experience; I get going but don’t feel pulled through. If I finish a non-fiction book I feel like a ding dang Public Intellectual!
You asked for recommendations but you don’t say what you like to read. Here’s my self-development recommendation: Radical Acceptance, by Tara Brach. That book added something really worthwhile to my life coping skills. If you like the sci-fi/dystopian/speculative fiction genre, I’d rec Pump Six, by Paolo Bajigalupi. If you like “literary fiction,” I’d say any short story collection by Tessa Hadley.
It’s great that you read often. Fiction books can be such a wonderful gateway to a different world full of possibilities.
I mostly read “self-development” books as I find them quite insightful and genuinely useful. Not just for myself but for others aswell. 🙂
Thank you for all of your recommendations 🙂
It was an amazing read and yes, like you I have only recently found my passion for books and its exhilarating! I think you might have read this, but if you haven’t, then here’s my suggestion: AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie. Try it out!
Nothing against fiction but I would think I don’t have time. My non-fiction books list is way too long. Maybe once the list is going shorter. There more to learn and gain knowledge in the non-fiction that leave me no space on my shelves for the fiction.
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I’m a book addict. If you’re looking for a couple of series, read THE DRESDEN FILES, THE NIGHTSIDE, or SANDMAN SLIM. Kind of violent but magical and a lot of fun. I read a lot of non fiction as well, physics and bio’s on artists, etc. I don’t read family sagas, or things like that.
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I’ve always read. Wherever I happen to be, if there’s print nearby, I have to read it. As a writer, I read a lot to learn my craft. But if I do that too much, I lose the pleasure of reading. I need to choose some things to read just for fun.
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